Luis Rubiales, Spain’s Top Soccer Official, Resigns Over World Cup Kiss

The head of the Spanish soccer federation, Luis Rubiales, resigned on Sunday, weeks after kissing a member of Spain’s women’s group on the lips after the group gained the World Cup final month, setting off a nationwide scandal and drawing accusations of abusing his energy and perpetuating sexism within the sport.

In an announcement posted to X, previously generally known as Twitter, on Sunday, Mr. Rubiales stated he had submitted his resignation because the federation’s president and as vp of UEFA, European soccer’s governing body.

“After the rapid suspension carried out by FIFA, plus the rest of proceedings open against me, it is evident that I will not be able to return to my position,” he wrote. “My daughters, my family and the people who love me have suffered the effects of persecution excessively, as well as many falsehoods, but it is also true that in the street, the truth is prevailing more every day.”

Mr. Rubiales, 46, was largely unrepentant about his actions, however pressure had grown on him and the group he leads, identified formally because the Royal Spanish Football Federation, and it turned clear that his place was untenable because the outrage towards him confirmed no indicators of abating.

Spanish prosecutors opened a sexual assault case on Friday after the participant Jennifer Hermoso, who stated she was made to really feel “vulnerable” and a “victim of an attack” when he kissed her, filed a proper grievance, and there have been indicators of opposition to his continued presence on the high of Spanish soccer at each flip.

The soccer federation had known as for him to resign “immediately,” feminine gamers had stated they’d not take the sphere for the nationwide group so long as he was in cost, the lads’s group had condemned his actions, and FIFA, soccer’s governing body, had suspended him for 90 days.

Some commentators have described the occasions as a watershed second in Spain’s #MeToo motion, as they put a highlight on a divide between traditions of machismo and more moderen progressivism that positioned Spain within the European vanguard on problems with feminism and equality.

The controversy facilities on the conduct of Mr. Rubiales, who kissed Ms. Hermoso, one of many group’s star gamers, after Spain defeated England, 1-0, on the World Cup remaining in Sydney, Australia, on Aug. 20.

He provided a tepid apology the subsequent day, however by the tip of that week he had dug in his heels and reversed course, insisting that Ms. Hermoso had “moved me close to her body” throughout their encounter onstage, toes from the Spanish queen. He additionally accused his critics of focusing on him in a “social assassination” and declared that he wouldn’t step down.

Ms. Hermoso has vigorously disputed his account and has acquired assist far and extensive, with gamers and others — including the United Nations’ human rights office — utilizing the hashtag “se acabó,” or “it’s over.”

The Spanish authorities was restricted in its capacity to punish Mr. Rubiales, however Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez described the soccer chief’s actions as “unacceptable,” and the secretary of the opposition People’s Party, Cuca Gamarra, described them as “shameful.”

The scandal has taken a number of the shine off the nationwide group’s World Cup triumph, diverting attention from the speedy ascent to soccer glory by a squad that certified for the event for the primary time eight years in the past after a long time of mediocrity.

On Sunday night, Mr. Rubiales gave an interview on “Piers Morgan Uncensored,” wherein he stated he got here to the choice to resign after talking to family and friends. “They say to me, ‘Luis, now you have to focus on your dignity and to continue your life, because if not, probably, you are going to damage people you love,’” he stated.

Víctor Francos, the president of Spain’s National Sports Council, stated on Onda Cero radio that Mr. Rubiales’s resignation was “good news for the government” and “what the citizens were asking for.” Minutes earlier on Cadena Ser radio, he stated the federal government was contemplating “legislative changes that can improve, strengthen and enrich public control over the federations.”

“We must reflect so that certain things that have happened don’t happen again,” he stated.

But Mr. Rubiales was not with out his supporters.

When he spoke at a federation assembly in late August, his sturdy protection was met with loud applause by some in attendance, and his mom locked herself in a church and commenced a starvation strike to protest what she thought of a witch hunt of her son.

Before Mr. Rubiales was punished, the controversy led to the ouster of one other high-profile determine on the planet of Spanish women’s soccer: Jorge Vilda, the coach of the World Cup successful squad however a polarizing determine, who was fired on Tuesday.

Mr. Vilda, who was employed in 2015 when his predecessor was ousted amid accusations of sexism, had been dogged by scandal in latest months. And final 12 months, 15 star gamers refused to play on the nationwide group, complaining about controlling conduct by Mr. Vilda and a normal tradition of sexism.

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